The Gerontology option is designed for people working in the field who need credentials; for older, re-entering students; for anyone interested in a career with older adults. This program is right for you if you are interested in a professional program that focuses on the characteristics and problems of older adults. The growing aged population has created a demand for persons trained in the field of aging.
The Career Advantages: The course and internship of the gerontology option will prepare you for the planning, administration, and delivery of services for older adults.
There are many reasons to choose a career in gerontology:
- The elderly population is the fastest growing age group. In 30 years, the aged are expected to double to more than 17% of the population.
- The “graying” of our population influences all of society. Consumer goods and services used by older people, capacities and personnel needs of an aging workforce, management of older workers, demands for health care personnel and resources, and family care giving will all be heavily influenced by the “graying of America.”
The Type of Work You May Do: After graduation, you could work with older adults and their families in a variety of settings, including health and human services, administration, and marketing. All of these situations need people trained specifically with a gerontology background.
You may find employment opportunities at the agencies in which you have your field experience. Depending on your credentials, experience, and professional goals, you can link a major in gerontology with social work, health, recreational or community services, program planning and administration, advocacy and public service, teaching, and organizational consulting.
As for placement potential, graduates of the program typically have no difficulty obtaining employment with agencies which serve the needs of older adults.
A Unique Opportunity: As a student in the program, you will spend two semesters in a supervised field experience in a local human service agency or other setting serving older people. Students learn both how an agency operates and the particular concerns of older people in different settings.
Field experience placements include hospitals, residential settings, nursing homes, home health care agencies, family services, senior centers, area planning agencies, and rehabilitation centers.
You also have an opportunity to be involved in a variety of community activities through the Gerontology Center located at Purdue Calumet. It offers you the chance to be involved in research and/or community service activities.